October 3: Day against DRM

October 3rd is the Day Against DRM

So, October the 3rd is a day marked to be a day of action against the dangers of DRM.

Big Media describe DRM as Digital Rights Management. However, since its purpose is to restrict you the user, it is more accurate to describe DRM as Digital Restrictions Management. DRM Technology can restricts users’ access to movies, music, literature and software, indeed all forms of digital data. Unfree software implementing DRM technology is simply a prison in which users can be put to deprive them of the rights that the law would otherwise allow them.

From Richard Stallman, President of the FSF:
”The motive for DRM schemes is to increase profits for those who impose them, but their profit is a side issue when millions of people’s freedom is at stake; desire for profit, though not wrong in itself, cannot justify denying the public control over its technology. Defending freedom means thwarting DRM.”

From Bruce Schneier, Security expert:
[...] digital rights management is not a feature that users want. Being able to remove copy protection is a good thing for some users, and completely irrelevant for everyone else. No user is ever going to say: "Oh no. I can now play the music I bought for my computer in my car. I must install a patch so I can't do that anymore."

Q: What the heck is DRM, and why is it so bad?

A: Good question. First, let me list for you some of the things that I like to do, as the chances are you like to do this stuff too:

  • * I record my favorite shows and watch them later.
  • * I like to create mix tapes for my friends.
  • * I want to watch my movies on my PC, TV and portable device.
  • * I make back-ups of all the music I've downloaded.
  • * I want to watch the new high definition stuff on my high definition display.
  • * Sometimes I like to share my videos or DVDs with my friends or family.
  • * I like privacy, so I don't want anyone snooping what I've watched or read.
  • * And I want to switch to GNU/Linux and do all this stuff as well.

DRM enables Big Media to stop you from doing this stuff. You see, THEY call it Digital RIGHTS Management - their rights. They want the right to restrict you and your behavior. That's why WE call it Digital Restrictions Management.

In short the Big Media conglomerates have realized that the traditional way of doing things - they sell you stuff and it's yours - isn't as good for them as - they sell you stuff and it's theirs. It's much better for them if they still own the stuff you buy from them.

Free Software refuses to be locked down by DRM, so Big Media will refuse to release films or music playable by free software.

Want to do something to prevent this? Join us.